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Second Appeal Analysis
PA ID# 000-UICKQ-00; Louisiana Sate University of Alexandria
DSR ID# N/A; Request for Public Assistance
As a result of Hurricane Ivan on September 15, 2004 (FEMA-1548-DR-LA), Louisiana State University of Alexandria (Applicant) allowed the Department of Health and Hospitals, Office of Public Health to operate a Special Needs Shelter in their facility for several days.
The Department of Health originally informed the Applicant that requests for FEMA funding would be filed through their office as they would be considered the responsible state agency for requesting reimbursement for the associated costs. The Applicant collected all of their documentation of funding needs, and forwarded the documents to the Department of Health on October 5, 2004. On October 14th, the Department of Health informed the Applicant that as a state agency themselves, they would have to file for reimbursement for their own costs. The Department of Health also indicated that there was a six-month deadline for FEMA funding requests.
On January 4, 2005, almost four months after the declaration, the Applicant started to investigate the FEMA funding process, and discovered that the deadline for Requests for Public Assistance was actually just 30 days after the disaster declaration, not six months as indicated by the Department of Health.
Upon understanding that their Request for Public Assistance was well beyond the submittal deadline, the Applicant immediately submitted a request for funding to cover the additional cost to the Louisiana Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (State). The State transmitted this request to the Regional Director in a letter dated January 6, 2005. This request was then considered the Applicants first appeal.
The Acting Regional Director denied the appeal for funds in a letter dated January 21, 2005, maintaining that the deadline for Request for Public Assistance had passed, therefore the Applicant was ineligible for FEMA funding.
The Applicant submitted a second appeal of FEMAs determination to the State on March 8, 2005. The Applicant maintained that they learned about the proper procedures after the FEMA deadline. The State transmitted and supported the Applicants appeal in a letter dated April 26, 2005.
The Applicant is requesting reconsideration for submission of their Request for Public Assistance so that they may be reimbursed for costs associated with the operation of a Special Needs Shelter in their facility.
Based on a review of the information provided with the second appeal, it is understood that the Applicant responded in a timely fashion in order to comply with FEMA requirements, but was unfortunately misinformed of correct deadlines by the Department of Health through a series of phone and other verbal communications. Under these circumstances, it is reasonable to allow the Applicant to submit their Request for Public Assistance to the Regional Director for consideration.
Based on a review of the information provided in the Applicants second appeal, we have concluded that it is reasonable to allow the Applicant to submit their Request for Public Assistance to the Regional Director for consideration. Upon acceptance of the Request, the Regional Director will then review the Applicants request for funding of costs associated with the operation of the Special Needs Shelter. The applicants appeal is granted.